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23rd July 2021

Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 winners announced

Written by: Edward Waddell
The winners of the Young Chef Young Waiter 2020 competition have been announced following a presentation ceremony at The Dorchester on July 21st. Lockdowns due to the pandemic prevented the competition being completed last year.

The overall winners of the Young Chef Young Waiter UK and China & South East Asia competition for 2020, were: Peter Meechan of Gleneagles (also the UK YCYW Young Chef of the Year) and Marie Bouquet of TĪNG Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London (also the YCYW China & South East Asia Young Waiter of the Year).

Among other prizes, they will each win the use of a Mercedes-Benz A Class, including insurance, for a year.

This followed the earlier announcement by head chef judge Theo Randall that Peter Meechan of Gleneagles was the winner of the UK Young Chef award. Second place went to Alexandra Henderson from The Lansdowne Club and in third place was Valère Ruiz of 14 Hills.

Head waiter judge Simon King announced the UK winner as Florian David from The Waterside Inn. In second place was Hellie Honney from Gleneagles and third place went to Declan Wilkins of The Hand and Flowers.

Young Chef Young Waiter China & South East Asia Winners
Chairwoman of YCYW China & South East Asia, Ching He Huang, announced that Tibor Palasti of The Sushi Bar Harrods was the winner of the Young Chef category, second place went to Qing Lee Chen of Imperial Treasure and in third place was Kevin Hoang of Lu Ban.

Andy Downton, head waiter judge of YCYW China & South East Asia announced that Marie Bouquet of TĪNG Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London was the winner.

Second place went to Simone Rizzo from TĪNG Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London, and in third place was Sabrina Aquilina, also of TĪNG Restaurant, Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard, London.

Theo Randall said: “It was a pleasure to judge YCYW again and made me proud of how much young talent is bursting through at such a difficult time. Peter Meechan is a natural cook with outstanding ability, the dishes he created were not just perfectly cooked but the skill he showed in preparation was a joy to watch.

“He is currently working at the legendary Gleneagles Hotel, who have helped develop another star of the future. I wish Peter all the success he deserves and look forward to seeing this talented young man reach the pinnacle of our beloved industry.”

Simon King added: “I was once again delighted with the standard of the finalists all of which did brilliantly. What made Florian stand out was his attention to detail, consistency and composure throughout.

“He was never knocked off his stride which allowed his passion and personality shine through, undoubtedly a star in the making.”

Managing Director of YCYW Sean Valentine said: “What an absolute pleasure to run the YCYW competition again in 2020. The standard of contestants has been exceptional from both the waiting and chef applicants. I would like thank personally all our partners, judges and venues for their support to help make YCYW 2020 a very special competition.

“I am very excited about 2021 finals being held in Dubai at the Expo event on the UK Pavilion.”

Recipe box company and YCYW Awards partner The Cookaway is offering the winning chef the chance to collaborate on a limited edition menu. The Cookaway currently has a number of leading chefs on its platform, including former MasterChef finalists Jack Lucas, Claire Hutchings and Sara Danesin and MasterChef winners Irini Tzortzoglou and Ping Coombes.

Frerejean Frères are offering the second prize winners an expenses paid overnight stay in their maison and winery located in the Grand Cru village of Avize, Champagne, where they will be hosted by M. Frerejean-Taittinger.

Third place winners will receive an eight course tasting menu for two supplied by Ruth Hansom at The Princess of Shoreditch.

The YCYW UK chef finalists will receive a handmade 5K Damascus steel utility knife from 5 Knives.

The winners of YCYW China & South East Asia will win a week’s work experience at the Wynn hotels in Macao including accommodation. This will be at their array of restaurants including Wing Lei Palace (Michelin 1 Star and Asia 50 Best ) and Sichuan Moon By Andre Chiang (2 Michelin Stars) at Wynn Palace; Wing Lei Heen (2 Michelin Stars), Mizumi (2 Michelin Stars) and Golden Flower (2 Michelin Stars) at Wynn Macau.

They will also win a pair of Premium Economy return tickets (London to Asia) from EVA Air. Plus £500 spending money donated by Lee Kum Kee.